Kathy with"Hell's Kitchen" Winner Chef Rock
with his wife Tamara at the
March of Dimes Chairman's Dinner
I love to cook! During my college summers I was the Head Cook at a youth church camp. (They really hired me because I could lift the big pots.) Now my friends beg for my eggplant parmigiana and halibut olympia.
On a serious food note, I’m concerned how incorrect meal service timing negatively impacts your fundraising revenue.
Scroll down to discover the most overlooked ingredient to run your benefit auction like a Top Chef!
PS: Get answers to your burning benefit auction questions. Register now for my June 17th Tele-Seminar *Free* www.AskKathyKingston.com
PPS: Don’t lose the generous support of your beloved bidders due to cupcakes served at the zenith of your Live Auction! Read more...
TIME: The Prime Ingredient for Auction Success
Chefs and caterers are fabulous with food. However, many are uninitiated in the unique requirements for a sizzling fundraising auction. Different than weddings, parties and corporate functions where fundraising is not the norm, successful benefit auctions demand a crescendo of momentum, precise timing and tight teamwork.
Avoid the loss of precious auction dollars due to catering misunderstandings and timing blunders. When your auction guests become distracted or leave... so does their wallet or purse. You can never make up that loss of revenue.
First and foremost, YOU must communicate your expectations with your catering professional. Invite them to be a part of your fundraising team, teach them about your cause and their impact on raising funds that night.
Kathy’s Secret Recipes for Auction Succe$$
Here are vital recipes to insure a scrumptious and successful auction fundraiser.
- Detail your event timeline minute-to-minute. Work closely with the caterer for the exact food service timing. Explain how course or food station fits in with your program and auction timing.
- Write it! Meet with the caterer, review your needs, get a written proposal and final contract and final timeline.
- Hold service at key moments. Explain there will be a few critical times that you need to hold all service, such as during your inspiring testimonials and your all important Fund a Need.
- Plan to stay on time. Appoint a key leader to communicate with the banquet captain in the kitchen on auction night. Meet with caterer and key staff several hours prior for final details.
- Serve dessert when is does not distract fundraising. Really. Assign a trusted volunteer to stand by the kitchen door and let servers know when it’s OK to bring dessert.
- Invite the servers to be part of your event. Announce the courses and thank the chef. Make it fun.
- Ban buffets. Consider a sit-down dinner OR food stations interspersed with silent auction tables instead. This way you can still raise money with silent auction and other interactive profit making activities while guests enjoy strolling, noshing and bidding.
- Avoid heavy pasta stations and turkey carving stations. (Hint: think what happens after Thanksgiving dinner zzz...)
- Thank your caterers, hospitality staff, servers and chefs. Their kind support makes all the difference to your fundraising success.
Please contact me personally to set up a phone consultation to optimize your auction profit 603-926-1919 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Bring my energy & extensive experience to inspire your board, volunteers, staff, auction committee and your auction guests.
"Energetic, stimulating, engaging and informative."
Frank Juliano The Hudson Valley Writers Center, Sleepy Hollow, NY
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Insights and Sometimes Rants
Avoid Chocolate Fountains at Fundraising Auctions
Honestly, I believe chocolate is THE forgotten mineral.
However, at an fundraising auction, this gooey distraction can lose thousands of dollars for your non profit. Don’t melt your boisterous bidders into distracted dippers!
First, chocolate fountains take at least an hour to warm up. And this monstrosity must be set up ahead of time in the back of your auction room. Imagine, the aroma of melted chocolate wafting right in the prime of your Live Auction or Fund A Need. “Chocolate Fountain Anticipation” occurs! (I know you can smell it now.)
Next, the expectation of warm melted chocolate engulfs the entire psyche of your bidders and sends them sniffing, wanting and wandering to dip assorted shortbread, marshmallows and strawberries.
Bidding dies...you lose money.
Here’s the solution: Bring on chocolate dessert...but serve it to your guests individually or on a lovely platter family style. That way you keep everyone seated, bid cards waving and focused on fully supporting your great mission.
We are award-winning auctioneers, providing cutting-edge consulting and innovative training for both non-profits and auctioneers. A national leader in fundraising auctions, Kingston Auction Company has raised millions of dollars for non-profit organizations throughout New England and across the country for over 22 years. The company founder and president is Kathy Kingston, CAI, BAS. Come to us to make your next benefit fundraising auction a record-breaker.
Our affiliations include...
National Auctioneers Association promotes professionalism of auctioneers and auctions through education and technology.
Certified Auctioneers Institute is the most prestigious designation awarded in the industry - only three percent of auctioneers nationwide hold the CAI designation.
Benefit Auctioneer Specialist designation provides auctioneers with unique skills and strategies to conduct, plan and market fundraising auctions.